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Friday, March 31, 2017

A Fine Young Man

I know I haven't written my blog for the last few days, but Grandpa Pfun and I have been pretty busy. You see, we had this wonderful fine young man come to stay with us for 4 days.

Yes our oldest grandson, Jameson, who is eight and three quarters years old came to spend his spring vacation at our house.

He is such an intelligent young guy, with an interest in Science and love of animals. When he got here we were able to take our dogs out for a nice long walk. He's very gentle with our dogs, because he understands they are rescue dogs and somewhat timid. They know he would never hurt them because he has two dogs of his own and knows how to behave around dogs.

Of course our dogs love him so much they even slept with him every night in the guest room. They stayed there all night and didn't even bother to come back to our room to their own little doggie beds on the floor. Why would they? They had a nice warm cuddly buddy in their bed.

Jameson enjoys cooking, and helped to do quite a few different tasks in the kitchen with Grandpa and myself. He helped to make breakfast bake casserole, tacos, and even our family specialty Chompy on the Bone! Which are breaded pork chops baked in the oven that have been rolled in seasoned bread crumbs.

and our best creation of the week...


He is a really good helper and loves watching the cooking shows on TV too. Every Sunday he and his mom bake something special at their house. He's really good at cracking eggs and stirring things up and knows just how to be careful around the stove so he doesn't get burned.

I was really excited to get a big package in the mail on Tuesday. It's an old table loom that I had sold to my friend Linda in Tennessee many years ago. She was doing some downsizing of her own looms at her studio and offered to sell it back to me for the same price she paid for it. She shipped it up here and Jameson helped me unpack it.

Here is a short video segment of him showing off a few of his Tae kwon Do skills. What a kid!

Now here is where my heart just melts and I want to cry inside and out. I honestly did tear up when I saw how wonderful this young man helped me to assemble my loom. I hurt my elbow last week so any twisting motion with my left hand wasn't doing too well. But he grabbed the tools and helped me start assembling this complicated loom. What a helper! It really did my heart good to have such an industrious young man to assist me.

Grandpa didn't even have to help, he hung out in the living room in his easy chair and let us do the work!

Our four days were filled with a lot of fun. We did play a little basketball up at the park in between the rain showers and snow that we have had on and off over the last 4 days. I'm glad we got a little time in the park even though the skies were gray and threatening rain.

Grandpa showed Jameson a few of his special moves. Did you know Steve played basketball in high school? Yes both he and his brother Pete were on the Gibraltar high school basketball team

Jameson loved reading some news articles about his Grandpa Pfun
from back in the day

Here is also a little clip of Jameson making a few baskets. I even took the ball and dribbled a little and made a basket myself!

We wanted to go to a movie sometime during the week but the only thing playing at the Chilton theater was Beauty and the Beast. So we kind of nixed that idea and instead spent a whole day going to five different thrift shops in the area. What fun ...we were exploring for "Treasures". I found a bag full of rag balls all ready to be woven into a rug,  a few silver dinner forks that I make into my sock knitting tools and Jameson found a couple different toys that needed to come home with him. I paid him $5 as a reward for helping me with the loom, (He never asked for money, and just enjoyed helping me)

The week went fast..... on Friday morning Grandpa had to leave to go drive his old fart party bus. Jameson helped me with a couple more things around the house and then after our lunch it was time to bring him back home.

We will miss him terribly, but that's okay because tomorrow we are meeting up with all of the grandchildren for a swimming birthday party for our other grandsons Mason and Clayton! So we will see Jameson tomorrow.

That will be a chance to bring back any of the odds and ends he left around the house, like socks stuck between the bed sheets, or his toothbrush laying in the bathroom, or all of the little pieces and parts of baubles or toys he bought.

This is the stuff that memories are made of! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *M* Macerator (a.k.a. PoopEater!)

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?

So here it goes, we are up to the letter M now!


We all do it.


We sure do.

We use the toilet.

Well, most do.  Some prefer to do the natural thing in the woods. That's okay I guess.  But when you have a motorhome, it usually has a bathroom that contains a toilet.  And that stuff has to go SOMEWHERE~  Right?

When our black tank is just about full (the toilet stuff is called the black tank) then we need to find a place to dump it.  Also our shower and kitchen sink water (the grey tank). Our black and grey tanks each hold 50 gallons, and our freshwater tank holds 100 gallons.

Now, most folks have to pull up stakes, stow the gear, and look for the nearest dump station.  That usually involves a monetary fee to whatever campground is nearby.

Steveio has this SUPER DOOPER POOPER TOY to play with.... called a Macerator! It's similar to a garbage disposal.  It grinds up the errrr ummmm tank waste, and pumps it out a hose with pressure. Enough pressure to go uphill and over humps or even into a household toilet!

It pumps it out of a long skinny 3/4" hose, even uphill, to dump at far away locations like an inground septic tank, and then we follow up the process with the grey water from the sinks and shower to rinse out the dedicated hose.

It is great for many RVing situations, besides saving on dump station fees:

  • -Many RV sites with sewer provided are only designed if your RV is backed into the site.  But our motorhome has a solid back wall in the bedroom.  If there is a pretty view, we may pull in forward so the view is out our front windshield in the living area of the rig.  That puts the sewer opening on the wrong side for us.  The macerator can help with that.
  • -Or if sitting in someone's driveway it can dump tanks into a septic or even a toilet. (done that)
  • -Or if at a poorly designed dump station that is too slanted to dump properly by gravity. (seen that)
  • -Or if at a campsite with sewer available but the sewer pipe is a foot off the ground (seen that)
  • -Or if at a curved road leading to the dump station and no way to line up 40 foot rig at their hole (seen that)

We do not use the "blue" RV holding tank deodorizers anymore as they can introduce bacteria-killing products into our septic tank.  Septic tanks and sewer systems need certain bacteria to keep them running properly.  We pour in a few tablespoons of RidX liquid septic tank treatment into our RV tanks to keep them working properly until they are dumped.

Here is a link to one like ours on Amazon that is for a marine use: Jabsco-18590-2092   Steve chose the marine type one over the ones available thru RV dealers because some of their impellers are only plastic.  Here is what it looks like.

Steveio took a standard drain cap that goes on the bayonet mount of any RV drain pipe.  He cut an inch and quarter hole in the middle of the cap with a holesaw bit on the drill.  That allowed the cap to fit right over the opening on the bottom end of the macerator in the pic above (he removed and discarded that grey elbow fitting in the photo)

He also drilled four small screw holes in the cap to line up with the four holes in the housing, using screws to hold it tight, along with a bead of silicone between the cap and the housing.

The discharge end on the left side of the machine has a 1 inch barbed fitting.  He attached a 1" piece of clear plastic hose (to be able to see the "progress of material" going through the hose)  At the end of the clear hose he attached a piece of threaded hose fitting to screw a black 3/4" hose that is 50ft long that goes into a septic, drain hole, sewer system etc. That long black hose is dedicated to dumping only, never to be used for anything else. Coils up in a 5 gallon bucket for storage in the motorhome basement.

The electrical line of 12 volt power was wired up to a 12volt plug cigarette lighter type with an ON/OFF switch on the line.  He installed a 12 volt powered outlet in our compartment near the drain valves to power the macerator when in use.

Now the macerator can hook onto the bayonet mount of the RV drain pipe when in use. It can then be removed and stored in a tote in our basement compartment when not in use.

With the adapted cap, it just hooks onto the bayonet mount
of the drain outlet on the motorhome. 

We last used it when we were in Florida a year ago.  We were parked for 6 weeks in Mom's backyard. There isn't any septic cleanout or septic tank access close to the house. So Steve chose to run the black hose up and into the bathroom through the window and have it flush right into the toilet.

Once the black tank contents are done running through the machine, the motor changes sound in pitch and it's done. We then shut it off and close the black tank handle.  Next comes the grey tank (shower and sink water) valve is pulled and turn it back on and run through the machine.  This also helps to rinse the hose out before storing it away.  It is a good idea to screw the two ends of any hose together during storage to prevent leakage or intrusion by insects. 

We got the job done, and our tanks are now empty.  I did not take any pics of the ummm errrr process, as you can use your own imagination.  The clear section on the macerator hose is there to observe the situation, and once both of the tanks are emptied, then we run some fresh water to flush everything out. The machine and the black hose are dried off and stowed into a separate bin away from our other compartments.

That is the poopy way to handle your RV holding tanks!


It has been rain rain rain on and off for the last three days.  I have been doing some sewing, but it's a secret so I can not say anything yet until after next Saturday.  I don't think my kids or grandkids ever read this blog, but you never know. They might.   I wish they would.  If they wrote blogs I would read theirs, faithfully. 

Oh well, I know my darling dad-in-law Paul does, because he comments on mine all of the time!  He thinks I should publish my motorhome modification blogs into a DVD format and sell it. Hmmmmm I wonder? 

We spent a busy Sunday afternoon going from store to store (we both HATE shopping!)  going to Lowe's, Home Depot and Menards.  We were comparing prices and getting ideas for all of the upcoming projects on Steve's Honey Do List!   We got a lot of ideas, and figures and help and fun stuff in our brains.  Now for the warmer weather, some official stuff, some deliveries and then find a few more pennies to pay for it all!   

Our son Dan and wife Heather, along with their kids and their Auntie Kim and Grandma Peggy just got back from a fun filled week in Florida at Disney.  We have been having such a time reading along on Facebook and watching videos and seeing pics of all their adventures.  What a great vacation for them! I can't wait to hear Allegra and Mason's excited re-telling of their exciting vacation. 

School is out next week so we are going to take the oldest grandson Jameson for a day or two.  I think we will find some projects for him, and do some cooking, and just hang out and have some time together.  He hasn't had an overnight since camping last summer, so it's his turn now. Gotta be fair and take them all, but space them out a bit so they don't wear US out!  LOL 

Tuesday is going to be an exciting Loom Getting Day for me!!!! A long time ago I sold a wonderful table loom to my friend Linda.  She has had a lot of other looms come and go in her studio in Tennessee and decided that this one was not in high demand.  So she offered to sell it back to me.  It is all boxed up and on it's way on the UPS truck, destined to arrive on Tuesday at my house. Wheee heeee!   It is a favorite of mine, and I always kinda regretted letting it go.  It's the smaller 4 harness  Tools of the Trade that I sold her when I got the heavier 8 harness one.  Now I will have both, and honestly the smaller 4 harness is easier to take along camping. 

The 4 harness on the left and the 8 harness on the right....

Well, the cozy fire is going on a damp wet rainy night.  We are thankful that it's warm 42 degrees and not freezing rain and ice.  March is almost over, but we are known to get snow and ice in April too.  Steve leaves early tomorrow morning for his Old Fart Party Bus job, and I am glad he is not driving on icy roads. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *L* Ladder, Lights and Louverectomy~

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?

So here it goes, we are up to the letter L now!


Ladder (telescoping):
Steveio said he just HAD to have one.... so I bought this for him about ten years back for Christmas. He had NO idea it was coming and was pretty surprised. Our friends, Rich and Mary, had a collapsible ladder for their motorhome  and Steveio was drooling over it.

the ladder

It reaches all the way up to the motorhome roof, as our rig does not have a built-in ladder on the back. I think it is 12 feet tall.  Just perfect for the motorhome and stows away in a small space next to his tool drawers.

Ladder helpers:
These are foam blocks that are made to haul a canoe on the roof of a car or truck.  But Steveio figured out that they would clamp on the sides of the ladder. Here they are on our regular household aluminum ladder.

Here they are while using Steve's telescoping ladder. Not only do they protect the painted edge of the roof or the awning (like in this photo)  ..the foam surface also grips to prevent the ladder from sliding or slipping sideways!

Light Replacements:
Our rig had two of the most useless "map lights" on each side of the cockpit area. The lights were very dim, and didn't shine down, they showed out instead. arggh!

Steve took care of that right away.  It was my idea to paint a used CD disk with black paint for a backing fixture base for the new lights.  I am happy to say they work wonderfully now.

map lights replacements

We also replaced some of the 12 volt lights with LED bulbs. I am not nuts on the blueish green light they emit, but Steve seems to like them. We use them when the power is going down and we are not getting much sun on the solar panels till the next day.

led light replacement1
LED bulbs use a lot less power than anything else.  We will soon upgrade all of our lights to LED’s now that price is coming down on them.

Little speakers for MP3 player:
I know I am a bit of "old school" with a tiny MP3 player.  But this little device runs forever on a AAA battery.  Even old batteries from other things like remotes or flashlight that are seemingly used up will still play for hours yet on this little MP3 player.  The speakers let me play it without using power on the rig, or wearing down my cell phone to play music from my own files on the phone.  It is pretty basic and I load up the songs by plugging in the USB end of the device into my laptop and copy them over. Easy peasy.

The speakers we ran across on a clearance one time at Walmart years ago.  They do not need any power source of any kind, they just run off whatever device you plug them into.  They deliver such a clear good sound, better than any other speakers we have tried.
little speakers for music

We like this little set up so much, I bought two more of the little MP3 players and two more sets of speakers I found on Ebay.  I have one set in our house and one out on front porch to enjoy tunes and not need to be plugged in. I can take it outside and set on the table, or bring into the bedroom and set on the bedside table.  Of course I can use it with headphones too.

P.S. for me it's all Celtic, New Age and soft 70's like Jim Croce, John Denver, Carly Simon and Neil Young.  Then for fun it's Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkel and America.  For Steve he has a full set of The Sounds of the Seventies that we crank out when he is feeling frisky!  LOL

This is a common modification among the Safari owners of this vintage.  It really helps to increase the air flow around the engine compartment. I just love the phrase that fellow Safari owners coined to describe the process!

That is it for the letter L .... tomorrow we will start out with the letter M---- and an early Happy Birthday to our youngest daughter Heather who turns 32 tomorrow!


Steve didn't have to drive the Old Fart Party Bus today... so he set to working on the inside of the attic fan installation.  See yesterday's post for the resaon and the outside portion. 

He started out in the upstairs hallway with a ladder and went up into the crawl space (scattering insulation all over the floor!)  I handed tools up and down while he did the technical stuff. 

The fan installed easily and he had quick access to a power supply to plug into. He tacked up the cord with little clips to be sure it never falls down into the insulation.

While he was up there, he didn't find any family treasures (sorry Paula, Laura and Debbi)  But he did find a piece of newpaper from 1978 with an ad for Joann Fabrics in the Milwaukee Sentinel!

Our oldest daughter Erin and husband Waylen had a little lunch date today, and brought their oldest daughter along with them to Waylen's place of work.  She got to learn about air craft maintenance! haha  Wonder if she will grow up to be a pilot? Or a mechanic?

The reason she was along for the day, was because it was time for her annual checkup. I will post this totally embarrassing pic of her, so 20 years from now she can holler at me! 

I love the look on her face,
 and I can just hear her admonishing her mother 
for taking the pic in the doctor's office....